Heena Sidhu was born in a Punjabi family, and she was completely inclined to studies from a young age. So how did she developed a passion for guns? In an interview, she said that she was fascinated by guns as a child. She found shooting relaxing because she was bored studying the whole day. "I'd be studying close to 14 hours a day. Shooting with various guns was an excellent way to relax, and that's how it all began," she says. "I did not see it as a sport though. At that age, guns were all about power"
In pic: Heena Sidhu with husband Ronak Pandit
Heena Sidhu began competitive shooting in 2006, participating in the national junior and senior teams. She was a member of the Patiala Club. Interestingly, she took up shooting to aid her admission into dental school
Heena Sidhu shared this throwback picture from her wedding.
In 2009, Heena Sidhu won a silver medal at the ISSF World Cup in Beijing. She followed it up with a victory in the women's 10m air pistol event at the national championship in Kerala
In the 2010 Commonwealth Games, held in Delhi, Heena Sidhu and Annu Raj Singh won a gold medal in the women's pairs 10-metre air pistol event. While Annu Raj Singh scored 375 points, Sidhu finished with 384 points to help India bag the gold. In the singles event, Sidhu won a silver medal. In the same year, at the 2010 Asian Games in China, the team of Heena Sidhu, Annu Raj Singh and Sonia Rai won a silver medal in the Women's 10m air pistol team event.
Heena Sidhu was a member of the Indian contingent for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She competed in the women's 10-metre air pistol event, finishing twelfth in the qualification round. Sidhu was part of the official London Olympic Games film entitled First: The Story of the London 2012 Olympic Games. The film, written, produced and directed by Caroline Rowland followed a dozen first-time Olympic athletes as they prepared to compete in London
In 2013, Sidhu became the first Indian pistol shooter to win a gold medal in an ISSF World Cup finals when she won the 10-metre air pistol event. On 7 April 2014, Sidhu became the first Indian pistol shooter to reach number one in world rankings by the International Shooting Sport Federation. In the same year, Sidhu was the World record holder in the 10-metre air pistol event with a final score of 203.8. Sidhu is right-handed and is right eye dominant
In 2016, Heena Sidhu pulled out of the Asian Air Gun Championships in Tehran because Iran made the wearing of the hijab mandatory for female participants
In 2016, Heena Sidhu qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in the women's 10-metre air pistol and the women's 25-metre pistol events. She finished fourteenth in the women's 10-metre air pistol and twentieth in the women's 25-metre pistol qualifying rounds.
Heena Sidhu won the Bronze medal in the 10m air pistol event at the Asian Games 2018. Heena Sidhu's husband, speaking to Mid-Day after her Bronze medal, revealed, "For the last one year, Sidhu and myself have not been home [in Mumbai] for even 10 days. That’s how busy we have been travelling for training and competitions. Imagine waking up in the morning and not knowing which country in the world you are in. This can take a mental toll on a shooter and it could reach a stage where the love for the sport goes down. You find it tough to bring up that killer instinct every time and in professional shooting, where there is no margin for error, it can be most tedious.”
At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Heena Sidhu won a silver medal in the women’s 10-metre air pistol event and a gold medal in the women’s 25-metre air pistol event. She broke the Commonwealth Games record of 38 in winning the gold medal. She wrote a heartful tribute with this post on Instagram, it read, "I would like to thank everyone in my team for preparing me for the finals. I had stopped believing in myself but my team did not. They prepared me well and they prepared me hard. I owe it to my coach and husband Ronak Pandit for preparing me for the finals and he told me that my best will come in the finals even though my trainings were never this high. He actually said it 3 days back... "you are going to win the sports pistol with your personal best" i thought hes trying to cheer me up after training. But he knew that I am on my learning curve and it will improve when I demand it. So when the day came and pressure was high I applied all my skills and delivered my best. So this medal is for my team, coach Ronak, Pierre Beauchamp and Alaap for putting in the hard work and believing in me."
Heena Sidhu married Ronak Pandit, also a pistol shooter who is now her coach. Her husband won the gold medal in the Men's 25m Standard Pistol (Pairs) with Samaresh Jung at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. Heena Sidhu resides in Goregaon, Mumbai
Very few people know that Heena Sidhu, apart from being a world class sportsperson, is also a certified dentist. Another fact that not many people know - Heena Sidhu's father was a national sports shooter. Her brother is also a shooter in the 10-metre air pistol event. Sidhu's uncle is a gunsmith and gun customizer.
Heena Sidhu posted this picture with her husband Ronak Pandit, she wrote, "Breakfast in Bangkok, Lunch on flight and dinner in Tokyo!! #SleepDeprived."
An evening in Paris! Heena Sidhu shared this picture from the city of romance, where she was vacationing with her husband Ronak Pandit
Heena Sidhu shared this picture of herself with her brother, on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, she wrote, "Missing my brother today. This picture is from 5 years ago when he came to support me in my first Olympics at London. #happyrakshabandhan"
Heena Sidhu with actress Gul Panag for a magazine shoot. Sidhu captioned, "A fun day with @gulpanag and the all girls team of @verveindia magazine. We'll be sharing what we did very soon!!"
Heena Sidhu looks beautiful in Punjabi attire at a family wedding
Heena Sidhu is a firm believer of women empowerment. She is seen holding a placard in this picture, captioned, "I believe that #Education is the best way to a #BetterLife! Inspire and empower yourselves Women! #IWD2017 #HerbalifeNutrition"
Heena Sidhu posted this picture after a facebook live session with her fans
Heena Sidhu shared this picture while she was undergoing a physiotherapy session with needles on her arm, she captioned, "#PokeyPhysiotherapist"
Heena Sidhu shared this picture when she took a day's break between tournaments
Heena Sidhu enjoys the occasional beer to unwind and relax, she captioned this picture, "Theres nothing like coming home to a #ChilledGlassOfBEER"
Heena Sidhu shared this collage from an awards show she attended. Sidhu captioned, "Had a fun #TOISA Awards in this beautiful suit by @poshpride styled by @talukdarbornali. Photo by @pranjal_kjain."
Star Indian professional shooter Heena Sidhu, who is the first Indian pistol shooter to claim number 1 spot in the world rankings celebrates her birthday today. From the pictures she shared on social media, it is evident that the girl from Ludhiana shares a beautiful chemistry with her husband and coach Ronak Pandit. Heena resides with her family in Goregaon in Mumbai. We have pictures (Images courtesy: Heena Sidhu Instagram)
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